A photo of Seniors For Climate Action Now at a protest
Meet SCAN -- Seniors for Climate Action Now! Credit: SCAN Credit: SCAN

Each year, we here at rabble ask our readers: “What are the organizations that inspire you? Who are the people leading progressive change? Who are the rabble rousers to watch?” Every year, your responses introduce us to a new group of inspiring activists. This is our ‘rabble rousers to watch’ series. Follow our rabble rousers to watch here

We’re pleased to continue building our roster of our ‘rabble rousers to watch’ list of 2023 with Seniors for Climate Action Now (SCAN), a climate action group based in Ontario, focused on the senior population in the province to join the fight against climate change.

We spoke with Lyba Spring, co-chair of SCAN, about the work they are doing to inform, educate and mobilize their generation to ensure all children and grandchildren are left with a healthy planet.

A conversation with SCAN! co-chair, Lyba Spring

rabble.ca: Can you tell us about the work that you’re doing with your organization?

Lyba Spring: Seniors for Climate Action Now (SCAN) has grown in a little over three years from a few dozen members to over 450. We are part of the growing movement to phase out fossil fuels, collaborating with many other organizations.  We run webinars, write papers, attend demonstrations, run campaigns, criticize both the provincial and federal governments on their inaction, support Indigenous climate initiatives, maintain a presence in localities around the province and run committees and working groups.

Seniors are not only a specific group that already suffer and will continue to suffer from climate catastrophes along with people who are unhoused, Indigenous, poor and marginalized; but we also want to make our specific older voices heard. Our children and grandchildren deserve to inherit a livable planet. 

rabble.ca: How did you first get involved in activism?

LS: I came to feminism in 1968, got involved in anti-war work and eventually women’s health advocacy. I am relatively new to climate activism, which started for me when I joined SCAN!

rabble.ca: What does being nominated as a ‘rabble rouser to watch’ mean to you?

LS: It is an incredible honour.

rabble.ca: How do you take care of yourself and find the drive to keep going? 

LS: My co-chair takes on an enormous amount of work. We try to laugh and strategize our way together through the hard stuff. We are both involved in making music, which, as everyone knows, is life. The drive to keep going is witnessing the inspiring work around us and the immediacy of the danger in front of us. 

rabble.ca: What is one goal you have in the next year? 

Spring: SCAN’s stated priority is to call for emergency climate action at all levels of government.

rabble.ca: What do you wish people knew about the organizing you do? 

People need to understand that seniors, especially those of us who have been organizing one way or another for decades, are a force for change in this country. It is incumbent on us to do so. Our Boomer generation of consumers has a responsibility to turn this sorry mess around.

Image: Gilad Cohen

Stephen Wentzell

Stephen Wentzell is rabble.ca‘s national politics reporter, a cat-dad to Benson, and a Real Housewives fanatic. Based in Halifax, he writes solutions-based, people-centred...